Root causes

One of the things I find frustrating about the current crop of politicians is that none of them are addressing root causes.

In particular, I think me and Bernie agree about the end goals. But most of what he’s saying are repeated band aids on symptoms of the problems with our resource allocation system. He’s not talking root causes. Raising the minimum wage is a example of a temporary band aid. The politicians should be talking about how our economic system can not accurately represent reality – by definition, money as we’ve currently conceived of it is a zero sum game. And reality is *NOT* a zero sum game.

Money is supposed to be, as far as I can tell, a medium for making our resource allocation system work – it’s supposed to model value. Now, I’ve already talked about the fact that any time we print more money, everyone is convinced the money is worth less, even though most people would agree that the amount of value available to us increases every year. Also, different resources have different values to people at different times in ways that are in no way related to the flow of money.

I still insist that if we have empty houses and homeless people, if we have people being paid not to grow food and people starving, we have a resource allocation system that is failing and we should be looking at how to improve it. But making laws about the minimum wage won’t do any long-term good – all it will do is slide around the prices of things. As a temporary band-aid, it’s a good step, but we should be talking and thinking about the underlying flow of resources. We’re at a point, technology wise, where we can track every kilowatt hour, every skilled man hour in every category, every gram of metal, every resource. By looking at those numbers, we could make budgets that actually made sense – instead of budgeting in dollars, for example, we could budget in doctor-hours and MRI-hours and lab-hours when talking about whether we can or can not afford to do health care for everyone. We can also look realistically at the costs involved in *not* doing health care for everyone – lost man-hours of work, lost creativity, and things like that. We can also look at the overhead-hours – the hours wasted doing incredibly dumb or even hurtful things. We can look at how much a eviction really costs us, for example, and realize how stupid we’re all being.

Analyzing root causes is important. more on this later.

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